(Closed) Tanning for a newbie/redhead/ivory-skinned lady

posted 5 years ago in Beauty
Post # 3
5547 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2011

I think your best bet will be sunscreen and minimal exsposure. Tanning beds are awful for you, and to me it seems like a bad idea to intentionally exspose yourself to consemtrated sun to prevent burning when sun block and a lightweight long sleeve shirt will do the same without increased melanoma risk. 

Post # 5
11752 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

lots of sunscreen – all year round if you have fair skin. I’d stay far far away from the tanning beds.  You’ll likely just get even more burnt.  They’re awful for you – totally not worth it!  

Post # 6
9142 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

@chasesgirl:  This is great advice.  I am super pale but since I live in Florida I am exposed to the sun almost daily.  We don’t call it the Sunshine State for nothing.  I wear sunscreen on my face everyday.  When I know I am going to be out in the sun I wear 45 SPF, a hat, and sunglasses; plus, I try to park myself in the shade as much as possible.  Yes, I still get a mild tan by the standards of people who live up North but I am a pale white Floridian.


Why do I avoid exposure and tanning beds?  When you have seen as many friends and family as I have get skin cancer removed, you start layering on the sunblock and wearing hats to cover up.  They just removed a fist-sized chunk of flesh from my mom’s back that turned out to be a melanoma.  Her doctor believes the cause was from when she was younger she used to tan with baby oil for hours in the sun.  My grandfather had half of his ear taken off because even though he protected his face with a hat, it was a ballcap so it didn’t cover the tops of his ears which got burned.

EDIT: Neutrogena makes a sensitive skin sunblock that is supposed to be good.  Here are a few more: http://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/beauty/sun-care/5-sunscreens-for-sensitive-skin.htm

Post # 7
1134 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I know how awful tanning beds are for you, but i stilll use sometimes.

Im very fair skinned as well, and ill go for like 6/7 mins for a few times a week. I will admit to a burnt butt on a few occansions tho!  But it is nice to have a little color for events.

However since you will be in sun in CA i def suggest sunscreen all the time!

Post # 8
349 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2008

How about a spray tan to even out the tan lines for your shoot? I use sunscreen, but since I’ve never burned once in my life I’m not sure what fair-skinned ladies would need not to burn? I’ll look around on google and see what I can find 🙂

Post # 9
8042 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

@MissCalifornia:  It won’t produce the results you want. You’re in the highest risk group for skin cancer (so am I). Don’t use a tanning bed. First off, you’ll burn. Secondly, it isn’t permanent. Whoever came up with the “I need a base tan” idea is completely mistaken. All you can do is wear a lot of sunscreen.

I was in Arizona last September when it was 40C (like 100F I think). I was there for a week, diligently applied sunscreen, and didn’t burn. You just have to keep reapplying.

Post # 10
2104 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

Don’t do it! Just be diligent about sunBLOCK, clothes that cover sensitive areas and get yourself a big ol’ brimmed hat!

I’m super fair like you and that’s how I survived Vegas in June. You’ll only burn if you go to a tanning bed. Those aren’t for us. LOL.

Post # 11
855 posts
Busy bee


It’s expensive, but oh-my-god is it worth it. You put it on ONCE a day and it lasts for over 10 hours. I’m really fair (like, my sister is ginger and tans better than I do) and I was sceptical at first but… oh man! Amazing stuff!

I’ve just bought factor 50 for my honeymoon in Florida. I only used factor 20 in Spain last year (86 degrees) and didn’t burn once. Cannot say enough good things about it.

As for the burns now and the boudoir shoot… I have no advice, I’m sorry 🙁

Post # 13
2059 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

If you decide to do a tanning bed, do not use it for more than 4-5 minutes your first few times – even the super high end model beds.  A tanning store lady told me ‘oh you’ll be fine with 7 minutes’ and I ended up lobster red!  

Post # 15
223 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

If you are set on tanning:

If you tan AND do it properly, you will not burn, no matter how fair you are. The higher level booths, while “stronger”, have the least amount of rays being emitted. So if you do go to a salon  don’t say “Well I’m super fair, so I just need the base level!” You will be MUCH more likely to burn in the base level. If you tan, do a stand up. As the time is shorter, you’re not laying in someone elses sweat(because let’s get real…most of those lay downs do not get cleaned well at all), and you won’t get the pressure marks on your butt and shoulder blades. Some of the higher stand ups have a max time of only 8 minutes, so you would start off at 3 minutes. Do the 3 mintues for a week, then bump up to 4, etc. There is no reason to burn if you are taking it slow, as you should. 

That being said, I don’t tan lol I just use self-tanners. Well, ok, I will tan a few days before a vacation to prep for being on the beach. Most salons should sell a self-spray tanner or lotion that you could buy to get some color that way if you’d prefer. I just don’t recommend tanning year round, or long term…

Post # 16
11234 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

I’m very fair/burn easily. First off, let me say that if you burned that badly from weak spring sun, DO NOT go tanning. It will not help. I don’t burn as badly as you, but I tried tanning beds before our cruise. I was going in the high pressure beds (the ones that aren’t supposed to burn you), and I fried, even at the minimum. I cut back my time more and BARELY got any color. I have freckles all over my shoulders from the worst burn ever/sun poisoning as a kid, too, as well as a red patch on my upper chest from a burn that I stupidly got years ago.

Second, here’s a link to a method to tame that burn.

Third, look into mineral sunscreens. You want something with a physical blocker (zinc oxide/titanium dioxide). Burn Out is good, Kiss My Face, Badger, and Alba all have good, more natural, sensitive-skin friendly sunscreens. I feel you on that–my skin is very sensitive/reactive, so I have to scour every label to make sure nothing is going to break me out. :

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